The Canadian eliminates the Maple Leafs | A surprise named Price

(Toronto) Once the last siren was heard, Monday night in Toronto, we could see Marc Bergevin running towards the small corridor, very close to the visitors’ bench, and launching himself on Carey Price with love.

Now was not the time to carefully calculate physical distancing, and why not? The general manager of the Canadiens, the same who awarded a huge contract to Price, had no doubt understood that this time, it was the goalkeeper who would allow him to pass to the bank in his turn. In the relatively near future, no doubt.

At the other end, in another corner of the arena, Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell said that Brendan Gallagher’s goal was “the worst goal” of his life.

Two different scenes, and two enormous contrasts. That explains, in part at least, this immense surprise caused by the Canadian. The 3-1 victory in the seventh game presented in Toronto, which also led to the elimination of the Leafs in seven games.

It’s not the 1980 American college players against the Soviets in Lake Placid or Buster Douglas against Mike Tyson, but in the sports surprises department, yes, it is a good one. After all, the Leafs ended the season with 18 points more than the Canadiens …

“It was a tough win to get… it’s a whole hockey team they have on the other side,” said Brendan Gallagher. I think we just found what we’re made of. Now we are going to Winnipeg to try to do the same thing again… ”

PHOTO NATHAN DENETTE, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Brendan Gallagher (11) scored the Canadiens’ first goal on Monday night.

Winnipeg will come soon enough, but in the meantime, let’s go back to this little miracle. Because there were two philosophies before our eyes: the offensive club against the club built from behind.

In modern hockey, nine times out of ten, it will be the attacking club that wins. But not this time, and in that regard, we ended up seeing a huge difference in net. Jack Campbell gave his all, but when things started to heat up in game seven, we saw that there was a solid gap between him and Carey Price, who has just played the best games of his career in series, tied with those of spring 2014.

It’s probably a good time to remember that the loss of John Tavares will have been huge, but above all, that Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews, the two best scorers of the Leafs this season, ended this series with a total of just one goal. .

PHOTO NATHAN DENETTE, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Auston Matthews (34), Mitchell Marner (16) and Jack Campbell (36)

Marner, in particular, played with a nervousness that was noticeable even from the heights of the Scotiabank Arena. We win with the best, we say? Well, we can also sink with the best. Remember that in season, these two had managed a total of 61 goals … We have rarely seen a duo disappear so quickly since Milli Vanilli.

On this subject, the trio of Phillip Danault is undoubtedly there for something, and we saw Matthews and the Quebec player in great conversation at the end of the evening.

“I saw from his body language that he had had enough,” Danault replied to the camera, eating a victory pizza. We respect each other, he’s one of the most difficult players to face… ”

Et avec tout ça, qui avait pu prédire ceci ? Bien peu de gens, si on veut être honnête. Ce qui est certain, c’est que quand Carey Price a l’air de ça, quand il retrouve de ses airs de 2014 ou 2015, le Canadien est soudainement une autre équipe.

Les Leafs en savent quelque chose.

En hausse

Carey Price

Il a été impérial dans le match numéro sept et dans la plupart des matchs de cette série aussi.

En baisse

Tyler Toffoli

On va oublier son but dans un filet désert parce qu’il avait raté quelques occasions en or et connu une soirée très difficile dans l’ensemble.

Le chiffre

1967

Ça ne pouvait pas être autre chose : c’est l’année de la dernière conquête de la Coupe Stanley par les Leafs. Ça ne changera pas encore cette année…

Ils ont dit

Phillip Danault

« L’idée contre Auston Matthews, c’était de toujours rester dans ses culottes, de jouer avec lui mentalement ; plus que ça avançait et plus ça fonctionnait, mais on a fait ça en équipe aussi, j’étais pas tout seul. On a su saisir le rythme et ça les a découragés aussi. »

Brendan Gallagher

« On était dans le vestiaire après le match cinq, toute l’équipe, et on s’est dit qu’on allait gagner… On savait qu’on allait les avoir. C’est presque plus facile d’être sur la route pour des matchs comme celui-ci… il fallait juste trouver une façon de faire un jeu de plus qu’eux. Et Carey, il est le meilleur que j’ai jamais vu… »

Carey Price

« C’est le meilleur match qu’on a joué cette saison… »

Dominique Ducharme

« Plus le match avançait et plus on était quand même en contrôle… On sentait, en marquant le premier, on a vu que leurs épaules ont tombé un petit peu. Ensuite Carey a été solide. Il a été excellent. On a disputé le cinquième match et le sixième de la même manière : le dos au mur. On s’est préparés de la même manière et les gars étaient prêts. »

Dans le détail

Muzzin sur la touche

Ce septième match n’était même pas encore amorcé que déjà, les Maple Leafs devaient composer avec une bien mauvaise nouvelle : le défenseur Jake Muzzin, qui avait dû abdiquer lors de la deuxième période du sixième match de la série, samedi à Montréal, n’allait pas pouvoir être là, ni pour les trois prochaines semaines si jamais les Leafs devaient survivre (ça n’arrivera pas). À cela s’ajoute bien sûr une autre absence de taille, celle du capitaine John Tavares, blessé à la tête (commotion cérébrale) et à un genou lors de l’ouverture de cette série. Tavares avait bel et bien patiné lundi en matinée, mais il n’était pas encore tout à fait prêt à effectuer un retour. « On sait tous à quel point John travaille fort pour revenir au jeu, à quel point ça lui tient à cœur. En gagnant [lundi soir], we could give him the chance to return to the game, ”said striker Jason Spezza earlier today. That won’t happen either.

A nice gesture from the Leafs

About 550 healthcare workers were invited to Monday night’s big game. Upon arriving inside the Scotiabank Arena, these brave men and women received a blue Maple Leafs jersey, in addition to receiving pizza. This is a nice gesture on the part of the Leafs, which also led to some nice dance sessions in the stands during the breaks… Unfortunately for these fans at the local club, the Leafs were not able to do what they haven’t been able to do once since 2004: win a series and move on to the second round. Fortunately, Toronto fans have had several opportunities to indulge themselves to the greatest hits of the Tragically Hip, a band that still reaches legendary heights around here.

Defenders still overloaded … but less

Saturday night, in the sixth game, Dominique Ducharme practically spent the evening playing only his first four defenders, Shea Weber, Ben Chiarot, Jeff Petry and Joel Edmundson. It was still a bit like that for Monday night’s game, but less pronounced. So Erik Gustafsson and Brett Kulak, the last two defenders in the chart, will have spent 10:20 and 12:53 on the ice, respectively, which is roughly double their playing time on Saturday night. This time it was Ben Chiarot who was the Canadiens’ busiest player, with 27:58 of playing time.

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